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For many of us, the gym is our second home. In fact, we’re so comfortable going to “gym church” that the staff knows us by name. If we’re MIA for a few days, they may even send out a search party. The gym is a haven where we can sculpt our bodies, burn calories, and get some much-needed exercise therapy.
Lifting weights will help build a physique you’re proud of, but many of us overlook the benefits that sports can have on our bodies too. In fact, some of the fittest women in the world built their figures outside of the gym. Whether it’s MMA or tennis, there are so many sports that can help craft an enviable form. We thought we’d show you what different types of training can do.
Here Are Five Fantastic Female Physiques That Weren’t Built in the Gym:
1. Skylar Diggins – Basketball
If you think squats and lunges are the only way to build great legs, think again! The explosive movements involved in basketball work the quads, hamstrings, and calves simultaneously, as evidenced in the impressive physique of Dallas Wings superstar, Skylar Diggins.
Skylar practices basketball drills every day to improve her speed, skill, and coordination on the court. Skylar is also the face and body of Nike clothing.
To keep in top athletic and modeling shape, Diggins performs an intense bodyweight routine and finishes off with some functional fitness exercises like kettlebell swings, battle ropes, and tire flips. Just your typical lunchtime workout.
2. Paige Vanzant – MMA
Dubbed as “the hottest woman in MMA,” it is pretty apparent why Paige Vanzant has earned such a title! The number eight in the Strawweight division of the UFC has trained in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since her early teens. She is also a boxer and wrestler too. Training twice a day, using a variety of MMA drills, sparring and weighted workouts, Paige has honed a strong, athletic body that is tough to beat—literally!
To improve her fighting even further, “12 Gauge” has recently taken up CrossFit. Not only are the workouts designed to build her muscle tone and increase strength, but they also give more power to her punch and deliver some serious stamina in the octagon!
3. Margret Gnarr – TaeKwonDo
Most of us know Margret Gnarr from the IFBB Bikini division, but this professional fitness model started sculpting her figure many years ago practicing TaeKwonDo. That’s right! This glam and gorgeous fit chick kicks ass!
Still practicing her fighting skills on a regular basis, black belt Gnarr says that she owes her tight core and long, lean musculature to the martial art. Of course, she also lifts weights to provide additional size and shape for her bikini competitions, but it just goes to show what can be achieved outside of the gym.
4. Serena Williams – Tennis
Just look at her. I mean, REALLY look at her! If I had known that tennis could make me look like Serena Williams, I wouldn’t have skipped a day of high school P.E. class!
The younger of the Williams sisters typically practices on the tennis court for a couple of hours a day and complements her training with high-energy dance workouts too. The sprints and plyometric elements of tennis have developed a powerful pair of legs on the world’s female number one. The continuous racket swings mean her delts and biceps are in tiptop shape too!
As well as using her great glutes and amazing arms for tennis domination, Serena recently launched her fashion line at New York Fashion Week, putting her figure to work as both a designer and catwalk model.
5. Aly Raisman – Gymnastics
How do you get beautifully capped shoulders, a tiny waist, and quad muscles that pop? You take up gymnastics, and you practice every. damn. day.
Not convinced? Just take a look at two-time Olympic Champion, Aly Raisman. This 21-year old has an incredible body, toned from years of bodyweight training and gym work of a different kind. Instead of pumping iron, Aly specializes in artistic gymnastics, which consists of flips, holds, twists, and dance elements performed as a floor routine or on a tiny, four-inch-wide beam!
Raisman’s typical workouts last for seven hours each day and include gymnastics, conditioning exercises, endurance drills, and rope climbs. So, as long as you don’t mind giving up your job, your social life, and your family and friends, you too can look like Aly!